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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Marcial jumpstarts Olympic bid with US training, Manila bout

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Filipino boxer Eumir Marcial cranks up his preparation for the 2024 Summer Olympics with intensive training in the United States, followed by a professional bout slated at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila in March.

“I’m flying to the US to kickstart my intensive training for my first homecoming professional fight in the Philippines which will be held at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Malate, Manila. This will stand as a build-up fight leading up to the Olympic games,” Marcial posted on his Facebook page along with a photo taken before his departure at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“This campaign is one of the most challenging as I gear up to fight some of my strongest opponents in the Paris Olympics,” added Marcial, who earned his Paris slot following a silver-medal finish at the Hangzhou Asian Games in September and October last year.

Seeking to improve his bronze-medal finish from the previous Tokyo Olympics in 2021, Marcial is bracketed with some of the world’s outstanding boxers in the 80-kg weight class.

Among his anticipated opponents are the likes of two-time Olympic gold medalist Arlen Lopez of Cuba and Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine, who bested Marcial in a closely contested match during the Tokyo Olympics, leaving him with a bronze medal.

And there’s Toqtarbek Tanatqan of China, who won the gold medal in the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Lastly, there’s Callum Peters of Australia and Abdelrahman Oraby of Egypt, who both reigned supreme in their respective continental tournaments.

Under Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions since 2020, Marcial transitioned to the men’s 80-kg category, earning his Paris slot with a silver medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Marcial is so far the only qualified Filipino boxer in the Paris Olympics.

The Philippines will participate in two world boxing qualifiers scheduled in February in Italy and May in Bangkok, Thailand, to secure additional Olympic slots for other Filipino boxers.

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